Gap options for the 2020–21 academic year

Flexible options for students

A variety of programs are available to students who may not be able to—or prefer not to—return to a residential environment, but wish to remain engaged within the broader Gettysburg College network and to continue their education. We want students to have as many options as possible, and have been working with students to more fully understand their individual circumstances.

Study away

Gettysburg College offers study away programs both in Washington, D.C., and globally, with coursework in a variety of disciplines. The programs have varying eligibility requirements and application deadlines. Students will earn four course units and can take courses towards major, minor, and College curricular requirements. Students pay the Gettysburg comprehensive fee and receive an airfare allowance (except for Washington, D.C.). Financial Aid can be applied to these programs.

Students interested in study away options should contact the Center for Global Education to discuss these opportunities. All returning students and first-year international students can participate in these programs.

Year of service

At Gettysburg College, we want to prepare you to engage the complex questions of our time through effective leadership and socially responsible citizenship. That is why we view a gap year of service as an excellent alternative to beginning or continuing your academic coursework during the pandemic.

The staff at our Center for Public Service (CPS) want to support you in your year of deferment if you choose a gap year of service. CPS staff will hold virtual, regular gatherings for all Gettysburg Gap Year Students (GGYS) for check-ins and to help connect what you are learning to your Gettysburg experience. In addition, when you start your Gettysburg College career after successful completion of your year of service and staying connected to us, CPS will provide a grant of $500 towards the cost of an Immersion Project to all GGYS, to be applied anytime in your Gettysburg career.

There are many great gap year service programs to consider, and we encourage you to explore options to find a good fit for your interests. The following programs are a starting point as you begin to consider possibilities.

AmeriCorps National Service Programs

All AmeriCorps programs pay members a bi-weekly living stipend, provide an end of service award (up to $6,195 for full-time service) to apply towards tuition or other education costs, and offer robust training to develop leadership skills. The following programs are under the AmeriCorps umbrella and may have a location near your home, or may offer housing away from your home:

Other programs

Those interested in a gap year of service should contact the Center for Public Service to explore their options. Deadlines and requirements vary for gap year service options.

Leaves of absence

We anticipate that some students may wish to take a semester off completely. Although some might call this a “gap” semester, the student following this course of action is actually taking a Leave of Absence (LOA) from the College. Students considering taking a LOA should please be aware of the following:

  • If a student chooses to take a LOA from College, current policies apply regarding receiving a grade of “W” on the student’s transcript: an LOA elected after the end of the Drop/Add period will result in a “W” for each course.
  • Tuition rebates for a LOA will continue on the existing schedule, as required by federal regulations.
  • Room and board rebates for LOA will be offered on a pro-rated basis for the 2020-21 academic year.
  • As in the past, students may stop attending classes before officially notifying The Office of Academic Advising and Student Support Services of their intention to apply for a LOA. As the timing the LOA impacts financial aid, transcripts, and other matters, we ask that faculty closely monitor student attendance for the first two weeks of the semester in particular as this record will greatly assist in accurately assessing the timing of the LOA.

Upperclass students interested in officially declaring a Leave of Absence with Gettysburg College should contact Academic Advising and Student Support Services at 717-337-6579 to begin the process. First-year students should contact Admissions at 717-337-6100 to discuss their options.